Every year we exhibit at the Graphics Canada tradeshow. We work with a partner to build a booth, we hem and haw over which equipment to showcase, what to bring, what we’ll give away, and how we can ensure that we are capturing terrific new prospects.
This year, having just completed another successful exhibit at the show, we wanted to capture some of the most important things we’ve learned during this annual process to help you plan ahead for your next exhibit.
Ensure your brand message is consistent.
As many of you are aware, Southwest Business Products recently rebranded and we spent a huge amount of time ensuring that all of our previous Southwest Bindings branding was updated on everything from our website and YouTube videos to our product literature, shipping labels, invoices, and everything else that carries our name.
If you are rebranding, changing your tagline, updating your logo, colours or fonts, make sure that everything you bring to the tradeshow reflects the same, consistent brand. It’s far too confusing to have to try and explain inconsistencies to potential prospects in a tradeshow booth and it will make your business look unprofessional and sloppy.
Be visually arresting.
Tradeshows are challenging places to get the attention of prospects. There are so many people, exhibits, and so much information to absorb that it’s really hard to get people engaged with what you have to say. In these instances, a picture really is worth a thousand words.
In our Southwest Business booth, we use looping videos displayed on large screens above our booth to show attendees what we do, demonstrate our equipment and products, and draw them into our booth. Because the screens are high, they stand out above the crowd – but not so high up that they’re blocked by hanging signage and banners.
Demonstrate your products or services.
Not only will a demonstration draw prospects in, but it also gives you the ability to showcase how your products or services work – making them more engaging, interesting, and memorable. This year at Graphics Canada, we decided to give away copies of our updated product catalogue. To add value to this hand out, we actually bound the pre-printed catalogues in the booth - allowing visitors to see a piece of our equipment in action as well as take away a useful piece of information.
Have a prospect process.
Whenever we exhibit at a tradeshow, our main objective is always to collect new prospect information so that we can continue to grow our business. To do this effectively, we use two tools: a badge scanner – so that we collect attendee information digitally, and we have a prospect notebook – a plain spiral bound notebook where we staple prospect business cards and make notes regarding our conversation with them. We are also able, in this notebook, to indicate those leads that are super hot, so we remember to follow up with them immediately.
Have a great giveaway.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to branded promo items for tradeshows: either give something to everyone, or only give something to potential prospects. It might seem like the “something for everyone” choice is the way to go because it literally puts your brand into the hand of every visitor to your booth. But unless you have budget to spare, it is extremely expensive to produce something meaningful that people will want, keep, and use – which is the entire point of a promo item – adding longevity to your brand after the show is over.
Instead, we choose to take less but more valuable promo items with us. We give these away more sparingly to those visitors we believe are potential customers. By choosing a promo item of greater value, it is far more likely to be kept, used, and therefore do its job: to keep Southwest Business Products top of mind well after the show is over.
Southwest is here to help with your next tradeshow, event, or conference.
The next time you’re preparing for an event, visit our website or check out our catalogue to find the materials you need for great presentations, hand outs, mailers, and more. In addition, our customized promotional items are top quality and give you the chance to keep your business front and centre with your customers and prospects.
Visit us online or give us a call today! With 6 locations across Canada, we’re always ready to help. 1 877 285 7044